Bacardi unveils line of wearable QR codes to promote up-and-coming artists

    • Bacardi Rum is partnering with streetwear brand Nahmias and Grammy Award-winning producer Boi-1da to create a clothing line featuring embedded QR codes that link to an album by up-and-coming musicians, according to a press release.
    • The streetwear collection is part of Bacardi’s ongoing Music Liberates Music program, which is meant to promote underrepresented voices in the music industry. Every time someone scans the wearer’s clothing and listens to the album, the wearer will earn live music rewards, including the ability to redeem concert tickets. Participating artists include BenjiFlow, Ric Wilson and K.ZIA.
    • The four-piece, gender-neutral clothing line made its debut at Paris Men’s Fashion Week and is intended to invoke Bacardi-inspired feelings of the Caribbean. All proceeds from the sale of the garments will benefit the rising artists.

    Bacardi’s partnership with Nahmias and Boi-1da not only provides up-and-coming musicians with exposure, but also increases brand visibility and social shareability. The cleverly integrated QR codes could make the social media rounds, especially when the wearers have an incentive to encourage people to take and share pictures of their clothing.

    “This is the fourth time we’re bringing Music Liberates Music back to the fans, but this time, we’re expanding on a global scale with the most innovative iteration of the program yet,” said Laila Mignoni, global head of brand marketing communications for Bacardi, in a statement.

    Bacardi’s campaign features musicians from Chicago, London and Berlin, giving it a global focus mirrored in recent efforts by other brands. Sprite this month launched Sprite Limelight, its first unified global music program, while Mastercard released its first-ever branded music album.

    Alcohol brands have long staked claims in the rising artist space. Budweiser, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, recently released a Discord bot of royalty-free music by up-and-coming artists for Twitch streamers to use in the background of streams. Additionally, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, owned by Diageo, partnered with UnitedMasters to produce a limited-edition vinyl of acts performed at the Tribeca Music Lounge during the Tribeca Festival.

    Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, QR codes were falling out of fashion, often relegated to marketing gimmicks. However, the pandemic accelerated their adoption and expanded their applications as a touch-free way to interface. QR codes have become a part of everyday life, providing people with quick access to internet links, while serving as creative-tracking and data-collection tools for marketers.


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